The holiday season is often a time when sugary foods and drinks fill the tables. However, having something sweet with every meal can often leave you feeling bloated, tired, and craving more sugar. Furthermore, over-consuming sugary foods adds unnecessary calories to your diet and can hold you back from reaching your fitness goals. Don't let anything stop you from reaching your goals this season! We need many winners for the Holiday Extravaganza! Follow these tips to help stay on track for the holidays.
- Reach for fruit. Keep fruit handy instead of reaching for sugary snacks. Fruit gives you the benefit of fiber and nutrients, along with a little bit of that sweetness you're craving.
- Eat regularly. Eating every 3 to 5 hours can help keep your blood sugar stable and keep you from reaching for fatty foods when you get hungry. Choose protein and fiber rich foods to feel fuller for longer.
- Plan out meals. Oftentimes we reach for unhealthy foods because they are quick and convenient. Plan out your meals in advance so you're not tempted to do this, and focus on only buying the foods you need for these meals at the store. Let me know if I can help with your family meal planning! email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Get up and go. Craving sugary snacks while bored or stressed out is very common. Take a break from whatever you're doing and take a quick walk to get moving. Exercising will release endorphins which will reduce stress, helping you fight those cravings.
- Mix in something sweet with a meal or snack. Throw some fruit in your salad, or mix some dark chocolate chips in with your trail mix to fulfill your sugar cravings without over-consuming.
One of my family's favorite salad's this time of year is this Walnut & Pear Salad! Beautiful for the Christmas season this salad has everything you need to stop sugar cravings!
Walnut & Pear Salad
Prep time: 5 mins
- 2 cups Arugula or spinach
- 1 oz creamy gorgonzola or goat cheese
- ¼ cup walnuts
- 1 Bartlett pear, ripe
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- ⅓ c olive oil
- ⅓ c white wine vinegar
- ½ tsp minced garlic
Instructions: In a jar with an airtight lid, shake the second set of ingredients. Toss with greens & top with cheese, walnuts, ripe pear & pomegranate. Toasting walnut also brings out such a rich flavor!
For these busy holiday nights this season, I love to cook "one dish wonders". The following hummus crusted chicken has roasted vegetables accented by a hint of lemon, and is baked in the oven in one dish. Best of all, my kids love it just as much as I do!
Hummus Crusted Chicken with Roasted Vegetables
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 yellow squash, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 cup hummus, homemade or store-bought
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 lemons
- 1 tsp. paprika
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare one large baking dish with cooking spray.
- Season the chicken breasts with generous pinches of salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, toss the zucchini, squash, carrots and onion with olive oil and garlic until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper.
- If using one baking dish, place all of the vegetables on the bottom of the dish in an even layer. Lay the four chicken breasts evenly on top, then cover each chicken breast with the hummus so that the entire breast is covered. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the chicken and vegetables. Then sprinkle the pan with paprika.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Serve immediately with whole wheat cous cous or brown rice.